Small Bites: Ridgewells Catering Announces New Executive Chef

Small Bites: Ridgewells Catering Announces New Executive Chef

Plus: Poke Papa to open Saturday in Westfield Montgomery mall; Luke’s Lobster to celebrate 10th anniversary with special roll made by Jose Andres

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Kashif Browne resized

Kashif Browne

Photo courtesy of Ridgewells Catering

Bethesda-based Ridgewells Catering, an upscale catering company serving the greater Washington area, announced this week that Kashif Browne will be the new executive chef.

Browne, according to a press release, had been a sous chef for Ridgewells for six years and left to become a sous chef at the White House in 2017.

Browne is from Guyana, where he learned to cook with his mother while growing up. He graduated from the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Washington and has cooked in a number of respected restaurants in New York and Las Vegas.

Browne says his training has mainly been in French and Asian cuisine, but he also “loves to have fun and innovate.”
“There have been moments when I’ve been able to infuse some of my own story to classic dishes by adding a touch of Guyanese or Caribbean flavor, and I think those end up feeling very honest and successful to me. I love catering because it really allows me to explore and play with very diverse cuisine,” he said in the press release.

Poke Papa to open in Westfield Montgomery mall Saturday
Poke Papa, a fast-casual restaurant serving Hawaiian food will open in the food court of Westfield Montgomery mall on Saturday. The Bethesda location will be the chain’s first location in Maryland, following the opening of two locations in Washington, D.C., starting in 2017.

Poke Papa offers “bowls” consisting of proteins and vegetables ranging in price between $13 and $16, according to its website. Customers can choose from premade “Signature Poke Bowls” or make their own by choosing a type of rice or noodles for the base, a type of protein, sauce and vegetable toppings. Among the proteins offered are salmon, tuna, chicken and tofu.

“We are very excited to finally open a Poké Papa and be able to offer our guests our Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls with the same quality and service that they have come to expect at our other locations. We are looking forward to joining the fantastic, diverse tenancy at Westfield Montgomery Mall and add to the experience by providing delicious, healthy and fully customizable bowls,” owner Kerry Chao said in a press release.

Luke’s Lobster Celebrating 10-year anniversary with Jose Andres’ special lobster roll
Luke’s Lobster, a national chain of seafood restaurants with a Bethesda location, is commemorating its 10th anniversary with a special lobster roll prepared by a well-known chef.

Renown chef and Bethesda resident Jose Andres is teaming up with the restaurant’s Bethesda location to feature a lobster roll with pimenton aioli and piparra peppers. A $1 donation from the purchase of each roll will be made to World Central Kitchen, a Washington nonprofit that Andres founded to help victims of hunger in places affected by natural disasters.

The special lobster roll will be available starting on National Lobster Day, Sept. 25, through Oct. 31.
Dan Schere can be reached at

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